Man jailed for murdering Helen Bailey denies killing his wife in 2010

Man jailed for murdering Helen Bailey denies killing his wife in 2010

11/02/2020

Man, 60, jailed for murdering his children’s author fiancée Helen Bailey, 51, and dumping her body in a cesspit denies killing wife, 47, six years earlier

  • Ian Stewart, 60, has appeared in court again accused of killing his former wife  
  • The father-of-two was charged in July with the murder of Diane Stewart 
  • He was jailed for life at St Albans crown court in February 2017 after he was found guilty of murdering his fiance, children’s author Helen Bailey
  • Her remains were found beneath their home in Royston, Hertfordshire 

The husband of children’s author Helen Bailey who was convicted of her murder has now been accused of murdering his first wife six years earlier. 

Ian Stewart, 60, was jailed for life at St Albans crown court in February 2017 after a jury convicted him of killing his 51-year-old partner. 

Ms Bailey wrote the Electra Brown series of books, which were popular amongst teenagers.  

The couple, who were engaged to be married, lived in a large detached house in Royston, Hertfordshire, where, in July 2016, Ms Bailey’s remains were found. 

Ian Stewart, 60, (right) was jailed for life at St Albans crown court in February 2017 after a jury convicted him of killing his 51-year-old partner, Helen Bailey (left)

Stewart has denied killing his former wife Diane Stewart. She died aged 47, in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire on 25 June 2010

She had been reported missing three months earlier, in April 2016. 

Stewart has now appeared in court once again accused of murdering his former wife Diane Stewart.

She died aged 47, in Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire on 25 June 2010.

Bearded Stewart, who wore a black top, attended a hearing at St Albans Crown Court via a video link from Whitemoor Jail in Cambridgeshire.

The father-of-two spoke only to confirm his not guilty plea.

Police launched a re-investigation into Diane’s death after Stewart’s conviction for the murder of Ms Bailey. 

After three months of searches, she was found dumped in a cesspit underneath the grounds of the £1.5 million property, alongside her dachshund Boris. 

Prosecutor Neil King said the trial, which is due to take place in two years time, could take up to four weeks to hear. 

Judge Michael Kay QC said the case will be heard before a High Court Judge. 

Police launched a re-investigation into Diane’s death after Stewart’s conviction for the murder of Helen Bailey

Father-of-two Ian Stewart (left) pictured with sons Jamie and Oliver and former wife Diane Stewart

A trial date was set for 14 March 2022 at St Albans Crown Court.

Stewart’s wife Diane, who had suffered from epilepsy since childhood, was found dead in the garden of their large country home.

An inquest held three months later concluded that the school secretary had suffered ‘sudden unexpected death from epilepsy’.

But following Stewart’s conviction for the murder of Miss Bailey, police expressed concern about the circumstances of her death and launched a fresh inquiry.

The investigation was hampered because Diane’s body had been cremated, but Hertfordshire Police expressed a determination to continue with the case.

Stewart met Miss Bailey in an online bereavement forum while she was still grieving the loss of her husband John Sinfield, who died in a swimming accident in Barbados in 2011.

They later moved in with one another, but the relationship had been under strain at the time of her murder.

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